Stealth Mode For Startups? What To Do, What To Say, How To Say It (Part 1 of 3)
By James Santagata
Principal Consultant, SiliconEdge
"No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution."
- Niccolo Machiavelli
Stealth Mode For Startups? What say you? Good or bad?
Over the past 12 or 13 years I've done some deep thinking about the value of keeping your startup in stealth mode for as long as possible versus coming out in the open right away and talking or blogging openly about it.
Over the years, I've also read a lot about what others think about this, including what I term the Royalty and Nobility of the Valley think.
Here's the deal.
Most of what the Royalty and Nobility think on this issue and many issues are completely inapplicable to you, the lowly serf. Now I don't mean "serf" in the pejorative sense, but only in the most positive, brutally realistic sense to help further your chances of hard-earned and well-deserved success.
There's absolutely no reason and no value to broadcast your startup unless you have certain things and resources in place (and fit the checklist vetting for each additional step in your startups growth), and worse, to broadcast it before you have these things in place may either destroy your credibility (with various people and parties) or open the doorway for some competitor to eat your lunch.
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Let's start with the positives.
What are the benefits of talking openly about your startup before you are ready?
Well, there are some. And the biggest benefit is that by talking openly about your startup you will begin to future pace it internally and externally, analyzing it and considering it from all angles not only from within yourself but ideally in the the feedback and reactions (both negative and positive, constructive and petty) you'll receive from various players such as your (what you assume to be) target customers (or users).
But even in this situation, you should be be very selective in what you say and how you say it for reasons I'll discuss later.
Also, understand that most people, including technical folks cannot abstract. We'll address the inability of people to abstract in a later article.
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